Q: I am a dentist and have recently created a website. I have been told that I can be hugely benefited by local SEO. Are there any DIY tips that you can share for better rankings on Google?
A: Local SEO can hugely benefit your business. Let me explain this with an example. If you have a clinic in Santa Clara and somebody looks for "dentist Santa Clara", Google will offer special local listings pointing to the dental clinics in the area. If you manage to get to the top of local results, it will boost your business.
Here are the 5 steps you need to follow:
Choosing the keywords
SEO is the first & foremost thing for any business that aims to rank good on Google search. You will have to select the keywords you want to rank for. These will be a combination of a relevant dental terminology and the location.
If you want to choose long tail keywords, use a keyword tool to discover the keywords with a high search volume and low competition. There should be a right balance between both the factors. In case you choose a keyword with high search volume, the competition could be too much and if a keyword with a low competition i searched, you may not get more traffic.
My advise would be to go with the most localized keywords as they will have lowest competition and highest chances to rank. Moreover, users will actually be willing to book an appointment right away.
On-page SEO – Once you have selected the local keywords, start integrating them in your website content. Add meta descriptions, title tags, and content. Also add the keyword to your address line and on the website footer.
Creating Listings in Local Directories with Category, Description, and NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp for Business Owners, and Yahoo! Local Listings are some of the local directories you can create listings for. Use the shortlisted keywords to find out the best name for listing your business.
Google recommends that you should:
Represent the business consistently everywhere – ne it on website, listing sites, signages, stationery or anywhere else
Ensure that the address is precise and accurate
Use fewest number of categories to describe the core business
In case you have already listed your business in the local directories, check for the consistency of NAP. as this will help Google robots in recognizing that all the listings point to the same business and it is an important factor to improve local rank.
In case you find a business listing you are not managing yourself, you have to claim it. The process will take some time but you will be able to update the listing with your NAP and boost the local position later.
Adding Listings to Other Local Directories
After you have updated/added the listing with consistent NAP to major directories, you should continue adding it to other local directories. However, ensure that the NAP is consistent.
The click-through rate increases if you add images & videos to listings because users are more likely to click on listings with images. CTR is also an important ranking factor for Google. If you have a high CTR, it will eventually increase your position in local listing results.
Asking for Customer Reviews
If you already have happy customers, why not ask them to write a few good words for you on Google or Yelp? These reviews will help in getting more traffic because of an increased credibility and rankings.
Hope your dental business receives a great response with these 5 steps.